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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98913 Find in a Library
Title: Assessments of Dangerousness - Observations in Six Countries - A Summary of Results from a WHO (World Health Organization) Coordinated Study
Journal: International Journal of Law and Psychiatry  Volume:6  Issue:3/4  Dated:(1983)  Pages:391-398
Author(s): T W Harding; H Adserballe
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper summarizes the methodology and results of the World Health Organization's (WHO) collaborative study of the legislative and operational aspects of dangerousness assessments and their reliability in six countries: Brazil, Denmark, Egypt, Swaziland, Switzerland, and Thailand.
Abstract: One study objective was to review the use of 'dangerousness' and closely related concepts in the legislation and administrative regulations of the countries. The legislative reviews were conducted by legal experts in each country, using a comprehensive checklist of items in which the dangerousness criterion might figure. A second study objective was to describe the dangerousness assessment process in each country, including definitions, criteria, data collection, interviews, and review procedures. This information was obtained by examining the case records of 277 persons asessed for dangerousness, with 181 subjected to compulsory hospitalization and 96 submitted to psychiatric examination for a court report. A standardized data sheet was completed for each case. The third study objective was to determine the degree of reliability in dangerousness assessments across countries. This was done by presenting 16 case histories of real people to mental health and judicial authorities of the 6 countries and asking them to assess dangerousness. Study results confirmed the widespread use of the dangerousness criterion in existing mental health, criminal, and civil law of the six countries. Dangerousness is routinely assessed in the six countries, both in forensic psychiatric work and in compulsory admission procedures for mental hospitals. The reliability of dangerousness assessments was generally low. Seven references are listed.
Index Term(s): Arab Republic of Egypt; Brazil; Criminality prediction; Dangerousness; Denmark; Psychological evaluation; Switzerland; Thailand
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